Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Amouage - The Library Collection Opus I, II and III
A new trio of fragrances from Amouage, The Library Collection, is built around the concepts of a library, including a "tome of memories," "hidden treasures," discovery and learning. Amouage is a niche, luxury perfume house, based in Grasse in the South of France but inspired by the Sultanate of Oman. Amouage has released perfumes before that I've liked, but The Library Collection volumes are not going to be added to the full bottle list.
lily of the valley,
Why do they call this a chypre? I can't bear to wear this again, so my review will have to be the notes I wrote down above. There was a sour, burnt note in the top, but the drydown is a cloying vanilla pudding with sandalwood that lasts forever.
Nose: Daniel Maurel
Top: Birgarade, Plum, Cardamom.
Heart: Ylang-ylang, Rose, Jasmine, Tuberose, Lily of the Valley.
Base: Papyrus, Cedarwood, Guaiacwood, Frankincense, Tonka Beans, Sandalwood, Vetiver
Amouage is calling Opus II a fougère. There is a little lavender at the top, but it's very light, thank goodness; lavender is not my favourite note. There is also a little pepper. But the top notes disappear quickly and the perfume dries down to a rosy cedar with a hint of cinnamon. I'm a big fan of cedar so I'm quite happy about this development. Unfortunately it doesn't last for very long.
Nose: Michele Saramito
Top: Lavender, Absinth, Pepper, Pink Bay.
Heart: Jasmine, Rose, Cinnamon, Cardamom.
Base: Cedarwood, Patchouli, Amber, Musk, Frankincense.
The third volume in this collection is a floral. Opus III is a sweet and powdery violet with mimosa. The violet is slightly tart, reminding me of little candies. The base of benzoin and vanilla adds to the candy vibe. It's the most linear of the three perfumes and also the least surprising. It does last a decent amount of time though, and the next morning, I have a nice musk still on my wrist.
Nose: Karine Vinchon-Spehn
Top: Mimosa, Broom, Carnation, Nutmeg, Thyme.
Heart: Violet, Jasmine, Ylang-ylang, Orange Blossom.
Base: Musk, Papyrus, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Guaiacwood, Benzoin, Vanilla, Frankincense.
Frankincense is traditionally from Oman, and all Amouage fragrances contain frankincense, as part of a common base accord that links the whole line. If I actually smelled frankincense in The Library Collection trio of perfumes, I might have liked them better. As it is, although I know this is an accomplished house and the prices must indicate fine materials, I don't like any of The Library Collection perfumes enough to purchase.
For other (better) reviews of The Library Collection, try Perfume Shrine, who calls Opus I "truly surprising" and peredepierre who says it's "top-notch." See also Il Modo di Odore who says it's "very good" and also likes Opus II. So, it could just be me.
Photo: The private library of William Randolph Hearst, by stuck in customs
Photo: vanilla pudding by bochalla
Photo: violet candies by davescunningplan